Pelham “Pat” Pearce to serve as Artistic Director and Senior Vice President as search begins for CEO 

 DENVER, Colo., October 8, 2021 – As part of the organization’s new five-year strategic plan, Central City Opera announces a change to its senior leadership. Pelham “Pat” Pearce, Jr., who currently serves as the General/Artistic Director, will shift his responsibilities to focus on the artistic side of the company. His new role will be Artistic Director and Senior Vice President. The General Director duties will be moved to a newly created Chief Executive Officer position. 

 “I am extremely proud of the work we have created at Central City Opera during my 25-year tenure,” said Pearce. “I look forward to working with the new CEO to continue the work of bringing great opera and music to our audiences.” 

 In his new role, Pearce will oversee the creation and preparation of the annual summer festival, manage the Education department and lead any additional artistic programming for the company.  

 “Pat is a proven leader with a 25-year track record of successfully overseeing this organization,” said Gregg Kvistad, co-chair of the Central City Opera Board of Directors. “The new CEO role is designed to position Central City Opera for the future and support Pat by taking on the management of the administrative and operations functions.” 

 The CEO will serve as the company’s managing director, chief administrator and community ambassador in consideration of CCO’s dual role as both opera producer and owner of 27 historic properties.  

 “The addition of a CEO to Central City Opera’s leadership team is important as we prepare to roll out our new five-year strategic plan in our 90th anniversary season,” said Anne McGonagle, co-chair of the Central City Opera Board of Directors. “For this position, we will seek an individual who can collaborate with Pat, the Board, the staff and our partners to help build upon the unique legacy of Central City Opera and our commitment to serving our community.” 

 Pearce will continue to serve as General/Artistic Director until the CEO position is filled and will then assist with the transition of administrative and operational responsibilities. The Board of Directors has contracted with Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates to conduct the CEO search.  

 About Central City Opera 

Founded in 1932, Central City Opera is the fifth oldest professional opera company in the country and is renowned for its exquisite world-class productions, competitive and robust young artist training program and creative educational and community engagement activities. Its summer festival, only 35 miles west of Denver, takes place at 8,500 feet above sea level in the Colorado mountain town of Central City, where the company owns and maintains 27 Victorian-era properties, including the intimate 550-seat jewel box opera house built in 1878. Learn more at For tickets and festival information, call (303) 292-6700 or email